Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out Monday at the BJP-led central government. Her tirade came after the Centre abolished the Planning Commission conceptualised by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. She said that her government would come up with a similar body to take ahead the national hero’s ideas and vision. Mamata Banerjee urged Nobel Laureate economists Amartya Sen and Abhijit Banerjee and Bose’s grandnephew Sugata Bose, a historian, to advise the West Bengal government on this.
“Netaji’s Planning Commission has been dissolved by the central government. They have named it (the new body which replaced the institution) ‘Niti Aayog’ or ‘Niti Niyog’, I do not know. Earlier, I used to go for meetings of the Planning Commission which sought suggestions from each state. Now we cannot share our views,” Banerjee said.
The Planning Commission, a government institution which formulated India’s Five-Year Plans besides performing other functions, was set up in March 1950. The Narendra Modi government disbanded it in 2014 and formed ‘Niti Aayog’.
“So, let’s take some initiative. We will start Bengal Planning Commission to take Netaji’s vision to the world level,” Banerjee informed..
“I will request Amartya Sen, Abhijit Banerjee, Sugata Bose to advise us on this,” she added. Banerjee also demanded that Netaji’s birthday January 23 be declared a national holiday.
Banerjee was talking to reporters after a meeting of a committee set up by her government to plan year-long celebrations to mark the occasion of the great freedom fighter’s 125th birth anniversary from January 23.
Abhijit and other members of the committee attended the virtual meeting. The day will be celebrated as ‘Desh Nayak Divas’ in West Bengal, she said and added that a ‘Jai Hind Monument’ will soon be erected in Rajarhat area near Kolkata.
The slogan ‘Jai Hind’ was popularised by Netaji.
Banerjee also said that the West Bengal government will set up a ‘national university’ which will be named after Netaji.
“There are several universities named after Netaji. We will set up a national university without taking help from anybody. The West Bengal government will do it. This university will have links to world class universities like Havard, Cambridge and Oxford,” Banerjee said.